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  • August 29, 2015, 10:43:24 PM

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Author Topic: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!  (Read 1842 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2015, 02:13:08 PM »
I used to go through vacuums like nothing else. Didn't matter how much they cost, they would clog continuously or the motor would weaken or something and it cost more to fix it than to replace it.

Then we inherited my MIL's vacuum that she's had since my husband was in high school.

What a freaking difference. This thing devours the dog hair and seems hungry for more. It never fails. It never clogs. It's a freaking powerhouse. Yes, it's heavy. But I'll deal with heavy any day over weak! Yes, we have to buy vacuum bags. But, totally worth it!

If this one dies I will cry like I lost my best friend.

I have my mom's 1980's Electroux canister vacuum. which currently doens't work 100% but it think its the wiring in the nozzle attachment. but that thing works so much better than other newer ones I've had.

catwhiskers

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2015, 09:43:59 PM »
My husband's cell phone is 14 or 15 years old, and people make fun of him because it is not a smartphone. It doesn't even have a camera. But...it has withstood 3 swims in the pool and is still going strong. I'm still trying to find a replacement battery though. He loves the darn thing!

I also have quite an old one. Last year I found a replacement battery for mine on ebay.

peaches

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2015, 10:54:12 PM »
I think manufacturers believe (rightly or wrongly) that most consumers make price-driven decisions. For example, they'd buy a $15 toaster - and consider it a bargain - and wouldn't buy a $60-$75 toaster even if it would last a lifetime (as toasters used to).

There is a category of luxury goods available for most things. You can buy a $200-$300 toaster that will perform better and last longer. The majority of people won't invest that much in a toaster.

It's the middle tier of basic well-made appliances that is missing IMO. That's where price competition has driven down quality. Some brands that used to be reliable are now just junk (Singer, G.E. etc.). 

I try to look for quality first. It's getting harder to find. It's seems to be a vanishing attribute. 
 

Virg

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2015, 07:35:54 AM »
Peaches has it right.  Every time I hear someone talk about how manufacturers purposefully design stuff to fail to force consumers to buy more, it makes me grit my teeth because the reality is much simpler.  Manufacturers for many consumer goods stopped building stuff to last because it costs more and consumers stopped paying for mid-range quality a long time ago.  The example of a $70.00 toaster is a perfect one for this, because it has to sit on a shelf next to the $15.00 toaster and people looking at both can rightly think, "Will the better one really last four times as long, and will I care that much if it doesn't?"  Such quality cuts make things cheaper to build and the flip side (that it's usually not worth it to repair such an item) is just a side effect.

For items like computers or phones, quality isn't the issue, it's complexity.  The reason why an old flip phone outlasts a newer smartphone is that it's quite literally a hundred times less complex inside, to the point where the computer power inside the modern phone's battery is better than the main unit on the old phone.  That means there's less to break down, but people these days demand more from a phone than they ever did in the past because it's there to demand.  My old Commodore 64 still works fine, but it's got less processing power than my alarm clock.  New computers don't break down faster because of some conspiracy, they break down because they're doing the work of several hundred thousand of the older computers in the space taken up by a postage stamp, and to get the same level of reliability at that size, you'd need to spend a quarter million dollars on building it and nobody would buy it.

If you want quality, it's still out there.  If you want a vacuum cleaner that lasts forever, go find a professional grade model and for home use it'll last 30 years.  The down side is that it'll cost $1200.00.  Throwaway levels of manufacturing quality are just a sign of the times.  When the state of the art advances as quickly as it has over the last few decades, that's just how it goes.

Virg

sandisadie

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2015, 09:48:16 AM »
Interesting thread!  I agree that some small appliances should have metal parts.  Example:  A few years ago I bought a fairly expensive machine that snorkles up leaves, grinds them up and throws them into a bag.  Then you just empty the bag into a plastic leaf bag or trash bag.  This is hand held and has a shoulder strap and is electric.  I just loved it!  Eventually the impeller (circular thing that does the grinding) stopped working like it should.  What happened was that it wasn't made of metal and whatever it was made of finally couldn't take all the abuse of leaves, seeds, sticks, etc. and started to chip and crack and parts started to break off.  This only took three seasons.

So back to the store.  But first I researched online to find one with a metal impeller.  For about the same price I was able to get one that is way better.  I've used it for 3 years and the impeller is like new.  But - I had to replace the bag because it started to get seam rips.  I'm ok with that and the cloth bags are very inexpensive.


ladyknight1

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2015, 11:01:50 AM »
POD Virg. My parents try to spend the least possible on appliances and other items, but get frustrated when they stop working. When my mom found out we have a Cuisinart food processor (from 1997) that still works, when her two year old magic bullet doesn't, she gets upset. We paid 3-5 times what she did, but it has lasted 5+ times longer. Same with our Kitchenaid stand mixer and our Cuisinart hand mixer. They last much longer than cheaper appliances.

I would rather buy a used item of top quality than spend the same amount on something that will only last a few years, if that.

cicero

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2015, 01:48:50 PM »
There's a trade-off, though - most newer appliances are MUCH more energy-efficient than the old ones, especially since many things lose efficiency as they age. I do think there's some truth to the "we throw things out rather than fixing them" argument, but it's also true that a lot more people can afford "luxury" appliances than they could a generation ago. Almost everyone has a refrigerator of some sort; ditto for home computers in most income brackets. Part of the reason things don't last as long now is because we pay much less for them than we used to.
that is true. there are also advanced safety features in some appliances that weren't available in the old ones (like auto-shut off etc). I remember when I went to buy a new stove (gas top) about 10 years after I had bought the previous one, and I asked about the auto shut off in case the gas blows out, and the sales person looked at me like I was from mars and said that *all* the stoves come with that feature now.

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Elfmama

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2015, 02:29:11 PM »
We've become a throwaway society. Stuff isn't made to last as long, and because a lot of it is much cheaper than it used to be, it's not worth it to fix it, if you can't find someone who can, as it would cost almost as much as buying a new one.
More.  I live in the suburbs between two major metropolitan areas.  There is ONE listing in my phone book for small appliance repair.  It is 20 miles away.  So if I take the toaster up to be repaired, that's 40 miles of driving, burning over a gallon of gas.  IF it can be repaired, I will have to drive another 40 miles to get it back.  It will probably cost me the parts fee + $20hr.  Let's call it $25.  2 1/2 gallons of gas will cost me (right now) about $6.50, for a total of $31.50, plus an hour and a half of my time. 

Or I can toss it in the recycle bin, go 2 miles to Walmart, and buy another for $20. 

Which do you think I'm going to do?
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2015, 04:04:13 PM »
We've become a throwaway society. Stuff isn't made to last as long, and because a lot of it is much cheaper than it used to be, it's not worth it to fix it, if you can't find someone who can, as it would cost almost as much as buying a new one.
More.  I live in the suburbs between two major metropolitan areas.  There is ONE listing in my phone book for small appliance repair.  It is 20 miles away.  So if I take the toaster up to be repaired, that's 40 miles of driving, burning over a gallon of gas.  IF it can be repaired, I will have to drive another 40 miles to get it back.  It will probably cost me the parts fee + $20hr.  Let's call it $25.  2 1/2 gallons of gas will cost me (right now) about $6.50, for a total of $31.50, plus an hour and a half of my time. 

Or I can toss it in the recycle bin, go 2 miles to Walmart, and buy another for $20. 

Which do you think I'm going to do?

We've got a place just down the street. I brought my microwave in. Without even looking at it, the guy was kind enough to let me know that it would probably be $150ish, MINIMUM, between the time and the parts and whatnot, and that's if it had one of the most common problems (based on the issues I was having with it).  He said they really only end up repairing high-end or built-in microwaves.

I went to Sears and bought a new, more powerful one for $140.

Virg

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2015, 06:23:51 AM »
Just as a data point to give a feel for the price differential in appliances, I looked up a few facts from the past.  Check out http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/50selectrical.html to see some appliances from the 1950s, and consider the pricing adjusted for inflation.  That $21.00 toaster would cost $209 today.  The refrigerator?  Almost $3,300.  If there's a better example of why appliances don't last as long as they used to, I haven't found it.

Virg

peaches

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Re: Small Appliances Just Don't As Long Last Anymore!
« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2015, 08:59:02 AM »
Just as a data point to give a feel for the price differential in appliances, I looked up a few facts from the past.  Check out http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/50selectrical.html to see some appliances from the 1950s, and consider the pricing adjusted for inflation.  That $21.00 toaster would cost $209 today.  The refrigerator?  Almost $3,300.  If there's a better example of why appliances don't last as long as they used to, I haven't found it.

Virg

I believe you!

DH and I paid the same amount for a new refrigerator a year ago as we paid for the previous one 20 years ago! I know this because I keep receipts for appliances.

The new one is more energy efficient. It will be interesting to see if it lasts as long.  They are both the same brand, Whirlpool.  We've had to get the ice maker fixed on the new one. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 09:07:12 AM by peaches »